Happy Easter! We are again reminded that we are people of the resurrection. It’s the season of hope – the promise of new life to come. We’ve passed the somberness of Lent and Holy Week and are rejoicing in the words: “CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!” So, how do we live as people of the resurrection?
I have a 26-year-old friend, Karly, who has Rett Syndrome. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this syndrome, it’s like having Parkinson’s, epilepsy, cerebral palsy, acute anxiety and autism all rolled into one. Mostly girls have this syndrome and usually do not have a way to communicate. Karly’s mom has learned to use “facilitated communication” which has helped Karly tell her story. She is truly remarkable! With the help of her mom and music therapist, she has written poems and songs that share her faith in Christ.
Five weeks ago Karly was near death and is now in hospice care. She writes that she is not “worrying about dying because she looks forward to the day she is with God in heaven.” Stopping all medication, supplements, and special diet has been freeing to her. She (and our God) are living the promise of the resurrection.
Playing music she has called “heaven’s beauty” (a collection sent by many friends), having the sun warm her body, being surrounded by flowers inside, enjoying an early spring outside, having plenty of time for prayer and quiet are the ways Karly has decided to live in the midst of her dying.
What has the resurrection called us to do? Tell our faith stories; live our stories and hear others’ stories. We are Easter people! Live that promise! And in Karly’s words, “It will be a great day, …the day I get my freedom. I can’t wait!”
Diane Frederick, of Oak Park Heights, Minn., is serving a second term on the churchwide executive board of Women of the ELCA.